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Showing posts from January, 2017

WEEKENDS' Multi-instrumentalist Adam Lempel Liberates Frankenstein Lovesong, "Tape a Twenty" & Bob Dylan-esque "Boo Radley" (The Witzard Premier)

"I recorded myself actually, ["Tape a Twenty" is] one of the few songs that I recorded everything and mixed everything myself on ["STILL LIFE"]. And it was done in Amsterdam. It's kind of a love song about making the imperfect work; like there's nothing perfect, but everything is imperfect/perfect. The video, I made at at the beginning of last year at my school HKU (Utrecht University of The Arts), where I'm doing a Masters in Music Design. It was the first two weeks of school—we just had this time to work on a project and I kind of decided I wanted to run around the school with a video camera and make a music video. It was funny 'cause I was in a music program, where I could do anything I wanted for the first time of my life, and I spent my time working with video. I built these kind of weird temporary sculptures out of junk and strapped a smartphone on the top to create these weird junk people."
"I imagined a guy, like working in an…

Philly Rapper-producer Lushlife Assembles a Collection of Musicians, Activists & Academics for Anti-Trump Mixtape, MY IDOLS ARE DEAD + MY ENEMIES ARE IN POWER (The Witzard Interview)

"Idols + Enemies is a raised fist in the face of a president that openly threatens our most basic constitutional freedoms; to that end, all proceeds from downloads of this project will benefit the ACLU. They’ve had our backs, defending civil rights for nearly 100 years. As the Trump transition team seizes power, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will be a strong ally in preventing the President Elect's unlawful and unconstitutional campaign promises from becoming a reality.

November’s dystopian Presidential Election sent all of us looking for answers. MY IDOLS ARE DEAD + MY ENEMIES ARE IN POWER brings together artists, activists, and academics to explore how we got here and what to do next. We stand with poor folks, Muslims, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and all Americans against any attack on our civil rights."


- Lushlife (Raj Haldar)


My Idols Are Dead + My Enemies Are In Power by Lushlife
I. What was your initial motivation behind assembling MY IDOLS ARE …

Washington Post Pop Music Critic & Former Q and Not U Guitarist Chris Richards & Pissed Jeans Drummer Sean McGuinness Unleash STREET STAINS Album (The Witzard Interview)

"In the summer of 2008, Chris [Richards] took the bus from Brooklyn to Philadelphia every Thursday afternoon to jam with Sean [McGuinness] and watch The Olympics. They wrote more than 30 songs. Then, they forgot about them until January of 2013. Chris was now living in D.C. and Sean convinced Aaron [Leitko] to cart his Tascam-388 up to Philly for an afternoon of recording. Captured on tape for the ages, these songs were quickly abandoned once more—until the summer of 2014, when Chris finally recorded the words with Aaron back in D.C. Everybody forgot about the songs one more time, before reconvening to mix them in the spring of 2015. And them—after another two years had vanished into oblivion—PRESTO! Street Stains was released in January 2017 and can finally be forgotten forever," reads the description attached to Street Stains 14-track debut. Long-time friends and frequent collaborators (unbeknownst to the rest of the world) Chris Richards & Sean McGuinness finally unle…

Rex Orange County Premiers Jangly Horn-assisted Second Single, "BEST FRIEND" On Zane Lowe's Beats 1, Announces May Brooklyn/London Shows & Teases "big announcements at 3pm" Friday

"I could have made you mine. But no, it wasn't meant to be and see, I wasn't made for you and you weren't made for me... I'm on my own sh*t now. Let me tell you how it feels to be f**king great. I feel great,"Rex Orange County laments on his latest Zane Lowe-premiered #ROCKMUSICFOREVER second single, "BEST FRIEND."Rex Orange County is the recently adopted alter-ego of Alex O'Connor, a self-loathing 18-year-old "bedroom" musician hailing from the outskirts of London in Haslemere, Surrey. "Being in a picturesque, but culturally void town didn't stop him from admiring fellow do-it-yourself producers Thundercat and Toro Y Moi, or falling in love with Frank Ocean's Channel ORANGE; "if I could do anything close to that musically, then that's it," O'Connor beamed within a recent press release. I would best compare Rex Orange County's unique half-sung half-rapped style to "Loser"-era Beck, fellow ge…

Hemlock Ernst Liberates Captain Murphy & Earl Sweatshirt-flipping "Bluebells Set Wet In The Moss" from The Vault (Flying Lotus Freestyle)

"[I] wrote this in the Fall of 2014 and recorded vocals for a demo to shop around in the bedroom June '15; tried to find another home for it, since the beat wasn't mine, but never did. Been sitting on it all this time and figure it may never see the light of day, so why not just put it out. I've never put up somebody else's beats without permission, which has always held me back. Got tons of songs written over other people's beats I don't know. Orphan rhymes. So, if [you're] mad at me FlyLo, you can find me easy," charismatic Future Islands frontman and long-time emcee Sam "Hemlock Ernst" Herring recently wrote on Soundcloud. "Bluebells Set Wet In The Moss" was released Tuesday morning without any prior murmur of release rumblings and appears to have been completed sometime between Fall 2014 and June 2015 and was in fact, skillfully freestyled over the Flying Lotus-produced beat for Captain Murphy'sEarl Sweatshirt-assisted…

LOVETURL & Passerby Presents: THE UNSEEN (A DETROIT BEAT TAPE) Documentary + Soundtrack Trailer, "Everyone Gets a Doughnut" & Sterling Toles' "Re-wiring Self" (A/V Installation #1)

"The Unseen (A Detroit Beat Tape) explores the soul and roots of Detroit Hip-Hop production, mirroring the sketchpad-style format of a beat tape. Loosely acting as a prequel to the LA-based All Ears documentary, The Unseen provides rare insights into a scene that has remained distant from the public eye, while giving birth to some of the culture's richest and most influential sounds. The film [provides a] glimpse [into] the hidden and elusive characteristics inherent in a city often depicted in a one-dimensional light."The Unseen (A Detroit Beat Tape) is just as it says, a beat tape-stylized documentary directed and edited by Gus Sutherland with a companion Detroit-centric soundtrack composed and arranged by Ta'Raach and produced by his label collective, LOVETURL along with Passerby. "Ta'Raach is a multi-faceted artist, producer, rapper, painter, and more—originally hailing from Detroit, MI and currently based in Pomona, CA," according to his Discogs pa…

Rock Against Trump: United Nations Return with New Frontman & Pummeling Screamo Powerviolence Anti-Trump Anthem "Stairway to Mar-a-Lago" (Temporary Residence)

Stairway To Mar-a-Lago by United Nations
"HUNGER BELOW US
THE HEAVENS ARE DEAD
BAFFLING REASON
YOU WANTED CANDOR, NATIVISM,
WHITE INDIFFERENCE, AND NO SHINING CITY
TRAGIC PAPACY
DIMWITTED BIGOT MISPLACING SYMPATHIES
FROM ON YOUR CROSS TELL THEM WHO MATTERS
POLICING CITIES IN RUIN..."
And that's just the first gut-wrenching 46-second burst of United Nations' latest anti-Trump single, "Stairway to Mar-a-Lago," which is being sold at a Name-Your-Price fee at their Temporary Residence Bandcamp; "an Inauguration Day transmission from United Nations. All proceeds will be donated to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood." President Trump (what a cringe-worthy phrase!) has only been in The White House for just about a day now, but there have already been countless Rock Against Bush-evoking musical protests either announced or released: David Eggers' planned 30 Days, 30 Songs-esque 4-year-long 1,000 Days, 1,000 Songs "evolv…

Self-proclaimed "Puddle of Vanilla Pudding" Darko The Super Reviews The Fabulous Downey Brothers' TURF EP "Transmitted from a Far Away Dimension" (Swoon Records)

TURF by The Fabulous Downey Brothers
Darko The Super is a close personal friend and frequent collaborator here at The Witzard, whom I'm met through our mutual friend John "Jumbled" Bachman; I've been lucky enough to premier his Halloween-themed project Put Down The Candy & Let The Little Boy Go! wrote about his 10 album-encompassing "2016 Sucked, But Darko Released 10 Albums & That's Pretty Cool" (Mix, Mix, Mix), showcased BLKrKRT's U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART-premiered Okinato Black, as well as a number of various projects in-between releases. Darko is hearing up to unleash what may arguably be his Rock sample-based "commercial breakthrough," Apocalyptic Bastard on Already Dead Tapes this upcomingFebruary 24th. We're currently putting the finishing touches on an Apocalyptic Bastard-centric interview to be published right here at The Witzard to coincide with its release. While we patiently await The Fabulous Downey Brothe…

The Witzard Premier: BLKrKRT Serves Up a Batch of Freshly-cooked Precious Metals, Heavy Gems II; Hand-crafted Post-Dilla "Microwave Beats" Recorded, Tracked & Mixed 1/11-18 (self-released)

Precious Metals, Heavy Gems II by BLKrKRT
I've been corresponding with frequent Darko The Super collaborator and Fort Worth, Texas-based Instrumental Hip-Hop producer Phil "BLKrKRT" Ford through Twitter Direct Message, Facebook Messenger, and Gmail for a few months now. I was lucky enough to premier BLKrKRT's 40th U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART-released project, Okinato Black right here at The Witzard. Okinato Black is amongst BLKrKRT's final 3-4 projects scheduled to be released before he plans to retire from beat-making all together and pursue a potential career in fashion design later this year. Today, I'm happy to be premiering Phil Ford's whopping 41st project, Precious Metals, Heavy Gems II (PMHG II), which is meant to serve as a warm-up collection of "line drawings/illustrations" or quick improvised sketches showing his progression between Okinato Black and his forthcoming BLKrKRT LP II. PMHG II is a quasi-sequel to Ford's similarl…

3 Feet High & Rising: Chris McClenney Sonically Paints D'Angelo "Left & Right," OutKast, Mayer Hawthorne & The Vincent Guaraldi Trio-evoking Portrait In Two EP (McClenney Music)

"When I first read this phrase at 16, it blew my mind: "all songs written, performed, produced, and arranged by D'Angelo." After that point, I knew [that was] exactly what I wanted to do for my debut: write, produce, and play all the instruments on my project (I recently learned, it was Prince who inspired D'Angelo to do this). To express myself to the full capacity of my abilities and strive to take a similar challenging, but rewarding, journey as one of my idols to create the debut that I truly wanted," singer, song-writer, producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Chris McClenney wrote within A Written Note On Portrait In Two. McClenney's self-released Portrait In Two EP, which was just released this past Friday, January 13th and followed by a Saturday Blue Not Jazz Club release show, was preceded by critically-acclaimed singles "Headlines,""Otherside," and "What You Mean to Me." McClenney has previously released a

THE NATURAL CURRICULUM Emcee-producer AVER Unleashes El-P & Company Flow, DJ Shadow, Portishead & A Tribe Called Quest-influenced INSTRUMENTALS.3 (self-released)

INSTRUMENTALS.3 by AVER
"INSTRUMENTALS.3 is a collection of ideas I was experimenting with in 2016 that don't quite fit into a bigger instrumental project I am currently working on (you could say they are the off-cuts, I guess!) I put it up as a FREE download, so people can see progress in the beats I'm working on, but really just so they aren't [sitting] around on my hard drive. My girlfriend told me I should stop being a perfectionist pr*ck and release them, so I did. It's her fault,"THE NATURAL CURRICULUM (TNC) rapper-producer AVER replied within a Twitter DM, when I asked for a bit of background information concerning his latest project. "All Musical & Visual Excretions by AVER; Except cuts on Track #3 by El Statiko; This sh*t is not really mixed or mastered, soz," reads INSTRUMENTALS.3's rather fitting Bandcamp description. THE NATURAL CURRICULUM consists of AVER, emcee Bill Sykes, rapper-producer Chalk, DJ-producer Omas, beat-boxer Jam,…

pigWar Guitar Player Teddy Presberg Talks DoveDriver, The Resistance Organ Trio, Outright Music Aspirations & Inspirations, "Bad Man" Premier (The Witzard Interview)

"We're mashing up classic 1960-70's Soul grooves with the 80's synth-aesthetic of guys like Lucio Battisti and the heavy guitar riffs found in Modern Rock by guys like Jack White," says Teddy Presberg. After spending five years steeped in the St. Louis Jazz and Soul scene, collaborating and touring heavily with organ player LeClare Stevenson, the two decided to move back to Portland to launch a new project. When they landed in Portland and fired up their experimental organ trio project DoveDriver, they sought out an unlikely vocalist and songwriter to tighten that sound and launch pigWar: Garett Brennan," reads a fragmented chunk of pigWar's recent Outright Music press release. Presberg's latest and main band, pigWar list Teddy Pendergrass, Led Zeppelin, Lee "Scratch" Perry, The Faces, J Dilla, and Parliament-Funkadelic amongst their greatest sources of influence. DJ Prestige at Flea Market Funk further notes that "there are elements o…

ATLien Rome Fortune Reunites with Samantha & VVORLDVVIDE PIMPSATION Collaborator Toro Y Moi for "BOO MOBILE II" & "Leotard;" Teases Forthcoming Beautiful Pimp III (self-released)

"Yeah, that's my grandfather. My grandfather's side of the family is a bunch of Jazz musicians. Nat & Cannonball Adderley, my grandfather's Richard Adderley, they played with Miles Davis... and my grandfather, he's a beast," Rome Fortune ecstatically revealed to THE HUNDREDS writer Senay Kenfe during a 2015 Small VVorld EP-centric interview; Kenfe was inquiring about a suspicious underlying Jazz/Hard Bop influence running through his Beautiful Pimp I-II mixtapes. It makes a bit more sense, taking his Jazz roots into account, that Rome Fortune has worked with such a wide array of genre-spanning producers and musicians such as Neo-Soul-minded multi-instrumentalist Chris McClenney, Jazz-inclined Electronic producer Four Tet, Grimes-affiliated song-writer and producer BloodPop (formerly Blood Diamonds), and Haitian-Canadian Hip-Hop/R&B producer KAYTRANADA. Rome Fortune can easily be categorized as a by-product of fellow ATLiens OutKast & Goodie Mob a…

Zilla Rocca Lets Loose Son Raw-produced "98 Avirex Flow;" Inspired By Scaramanga, Raekwon & Terror Squad's Complex Style-ranked 1990's Outerwear (Wrecking Crew)

"My temple is half gun metal, other half Buddha smoke and coke sold to runnin' rebels, watch the devil," Philly-based emcee and writer Zilla Rocca ferociously quips within his latest Son Raw-produced throwback single, "98 Avirex Flow."Zilla shared a bit of information about its genesis and inception, via email:

"I made this song after listening to a lot of Scaramanga's classic album Seven Eyes, Seven Horns. I've always been a fan of Five-[percenter] Rap and I came up as an emcee in 1997-98, so I wanted to pay homage to that style. My man Son Raw sent me that beat probably 7-8 years ago and it always had that Raekwon/Terror Squad vibe to it. I never knew what to do with it, but I always wanted to use it. So, one day for fun, I thought "what would I sound like, if I wrote a straight up 1998 East Coast Rap verse?" There's some [Kool] G Rap in there, some Nas/AZ/Raekwon/Prodigy, and obviously, Scaramanga and Big Pun. I miss the days when …

The Lions "The Magnificent Dance" Director Ross Harris & Animator RUFFMERCY Reunite for Nxworries "SIDEPIECE" in the dungeon REMIX (The Witzard Interview)

While my recent Best Albums, EP's & Mixtapes of 2016 List didn't include any type of "Honorable Mentions" section, if it had, it would have likely included the likes of De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Blink-182, Nxworries, and J-Zone (for Fish-n-Grits). Aftermath crooner Anderson.Paak and beat-maker Knxwledge's full-length debut as Nxworreis, YES LAWD! It's equal parts The Roots, D'Angelo, J Dilla, and Drake; a perfect mix of Hip-Hop and modern day R&B, easily one of Stones Throw's absolute strongest, most cohesive releases in years. I really haven't given Nxworries' YES LAWD! a whole lot of coverage here at The Witzard (aside from the early singles) and have really just been waiting for the perfect opportunity to write about Anderson.Paak & Knxwledge again... until this past Thursday afternoon, when I heard about Nxworries' "SIDEPIECE" music video filmed at Stones Throw "in the dungeon" by director Ross H…

Marvin Nygaard & Vidar Landa of Norwegian Metal Band Kvelertak Unite with Børild Haughom & Espen Kvaloy to Form Gaslight Anthem-reminiscent Beachheads (Fysisk Format)

"Beachheads is a Power-Pop band from the west coast of Norway. This is their self-titled debut album. The spark that became Beachheads was first ignited on a tour bus, as Kvelertak members Vidar [Landa] (guitar) and Marvin [Nygaard] (bass) fantasized about the endless potential of fuzzy guitars, energetic drums, and good melodies. The two hard-working Kvelertak musicians had little time off and Beachheads endured as more of a favourite dream band on days off, than a "real" band," reads a fragmented chunk of BEACHHEADS' press text. While they've received wide-spread critical acclaim and have already garnered comparisons to "Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, and Punkier fare like The Replacements," as Stereogum Senior EditorTom Breihan perfectly puts it, but no one has seemed to compare Beachheads to their most fitting stateside musical counterpart, as I see it: New Brunswick, New Jersey's own Heartland Rock/Folk Punk pride and joy, The Gaslight Anthe…

Darko The Super Unleashes "2016 Sucked, But Darko Released 10 Albums & That's Pretty Cool" (Mix, Mix, Mix) & BLKrKRT-produced "A Very Darko Christmas" [U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART]

"I chose my favorites and most important songs. Made sure I added most of the ones I do at shows. I made the [2016] mix because I believe strongly in what I do, and know most of the people I send these albums out to, don't listen. I wanted to recap my year of releases, to prove to whoever listens and to myself, how hard I work,"@DarkoTheSuper detailed within a recent statement sent to The Witzard. Like the title "2016 Sucked, But Darko Released 10 Albums & That's Pretty Cool" suggests, Darko The Super did in fact, manage to release a whopping 10 albums over the course of the past 12 months: starting with February 2016's CREEPAZOID!, The Hell Hole Store with fellow rapper-producer ialive, Stomachaches & Heartbreaks, All These Fingers-produced Carve a Happy Face On My Tombstone, We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free, Take Me to Your Computer, Your Mouth Is Bigger Than Your Entire Brain, a collection of Beercan bea…